WWE 2K18 is a professional wrestling video game developed in a collaboration between Yuke’s and Visual Concepts and published by 2K Sports. It is the nineteenth installment in the WWE game series (fifth under the WWE 2K banner), serving as the following from their previous game WWE 2K17 (released in 2016). It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 17, 2017, with the Nintendo Switch version being scheduled to be released later in 2017. This release will mark the return to Nintendo Platforms since WWE ’13, as the first title in the series to be released on that platform. WWE 2K18 is the first video game in the series to only be on eighth generation hardware and also first in the series released on PC alongside its console counterparts.
On June 29, 2017, it was announced that Kurt Angle would be the pre-order bonus character for WWE 2K18, making his first WWE video game appearance since WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007. For the third installment in a row, the roster is the largest included in the series with over 200 WWE superstars from the roster. As part of a product placementdeal with KFC, WWE 2K18 has Colonel Sanders as a playable character, accessible through the attire templates in the Create-A-Wrestler feature.
WWE 2K18 marks the video game debut of 29 WWE superstars.
Similar to its predecessors, WWE 2K18 is a professional wrestling game and for the first time since WWF SmackDown! Just Bring It, eight wrestlers will be able to be in a match at once, instead of six (the Nintendo Switch version will only support six wrestlers in the ring). The Royal Rumble match has been retooled, with new mechanics, finishers and elimination sequences. A carry system will be introduced (which is similar to the Ultimate Control Grapple system introduced in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw 2007), allowing players to pick up or drag their opponent and place them in a specific spot. Thousands of new moves and animations have been added to the game.
Improvements have been made to the creation suite, such as new superstar parts and materials. One such material is a glow effect, which gives players the ability to make hair, clothing, and logos on their created superstars to glow. Other new creation suite features include an enhanced highlight system, however the free-roaming camera has been removed when the highlight reel is being used mid-match. Crowd area templates can also be selected in Create-An-Arena, allowing players to select five different templates that have different weapons and objects to use. The Create-A-Match feature, last seen in the last-gen version of WWE 2K17 (WWE 2K14 for next-gen players), has returned. New to the feature includes the ability to create your own custom matches and save them for use in exhibition mode, Universe, and Online through Private matches. MyCareer now allows backstage free roaming, with wrestlers creating alliances and enemies, and fighting styles are introduced in the “MyPlayer” career mode, letting players choose between eight different fighting styles, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
The new Road To Glory mode enables players to use their MyPlayer characters to qualify and compete in events, similar to the one found in WWE SuperCard. This mode replaces the 2K Tonight online mode from WWE 2K17.
Universe mode has been improved with a new story system, alongside new cut-scenes, power-rankings, and a goal system.
WWE 2K18 features a new commentary team of Monday Night Raw’s Michael Cole, Byron Saxton, and Corey Graves. Crowd sound is also improved and features authentic crowd chants for entrances and during a match. It also features a new graphics engine, which enhance the camera system and improves lighting, textures, and character models.